Where does the time go? I have been nannying for two months now and I feel like I’ve become a mom. I am with the two kids about 40 hours a week and by the time I get home, I just want to crash on the couch and order take out. **Shout out to all those moms out there who don’t get to “clock out” at the end of the day!** It’s a horrible habit but I can’t seem to break the cycle. I have, however, managed to make two of my fall favorites the past few weekends: pumpkin gingersnap cookies and curried celery root and roasted sweet potato soup.
These are my favorite fall cookies that are easy but a bit time consuming. So many of my childhood holiday memories are connected to the cookies, pies and other baked goods my mom used to make around this time of year. Now that I am out on my own, I am trying to create some of my own holiday food traditions.
I stumbled upon this recipe last fall when I had some extra canned pumpkin in my pantry. Gingersnaps were always part of my mom’s repertoire so I thought theses Pumpkin Gingersnaps would be the perfect addition to mine.
½ cup of butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the cookies
½ cup of pure pumpkin (I used Trader Joe’s canned pumpkin)
¼ cup of molasses
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
In the bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy and smooth using a hand mixer (or a standing mixer if you have one). Add the pumpkin, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract, mix until well combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined.
Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least 1 hour. The dough can be chilled for 2-3 days.*
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
Place sugar in a small bowl. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough in sugar until well coated and place on prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10–12 minutes, or until cookies look cracked and set at the edges. The cookies will still be soft.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a 2-3 minutes after removing them from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I cannot stress enough how important it is that you let the dough chill for AT LEAST one hour. I usually leave mine overnight. If you attempt to roll the dough in your hands and sugar before it is properly chilled, you will have a frustrating sticky mess on your hands (literally). The longer the dough chills, the easier the rolling will be!
This next recipe is loosely on Mark Bittman’s Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup.
Curried Celery Root and Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
Salt and black pepper
1 pound celery root, peeled and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes
1/2 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put sweet potato in a large bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder. Toss to coat. Spread out on a lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes (it might take a little longer so just check in 3-5 minute increments).
Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, add the onion and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes
Add 1/2 tablespoon of curry powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute
Add the cubed celery root and stir just to coat it in the curry powder, then add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so that the stock bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery root is fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes more
Cool the roasted sweet potato and the cooked celery root cool slightly. Add both to a blender or food processor, and purée carefully. You may also add the sweet potato to the celery root, stock and spices and use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan.
These recipes have become a part of my fall/holiday tradition and I hope you will try them out. They are a little tricky at first but practice makes perfect! Once you get a hang of these, they will be great fall backs when you’re in need for a fall pick-me-up! Enjoy!
If you’re looking for some fall inspiration, check out this list of seasonal fall fruits and vegetables and some other fall recipes, in this from Buzzfeed!